South Dakota EMS Association

To strengthen patient care in South Dakota through advocacy, education, and representation of EMS providers.


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SDEMSA Annual Conference


Jon Politis:


About Jon Poltis

Jon is a proven and respected emergency services leader and educator. Becoming an EMT in 1971, he has served in many capacities...EMT, firefighter, ski patroller, paramedic, paramedic program director, state EMS Official (VT and NY), EMS Chief, and Fire Chief. 

He has a reputation of integrity and solid leadership in both career and volunteer organizations. He served on the Board of Directors of the National Registry of EMTs, Committee on Accreditation for the EMS Professions, been co-investigator of original research and authored numerous articles and texts. In 1989, he lead the Town of Colonie, NY, to consolidate the Town's six Rescue Squads into a single municipal EMS department. He served as the Chief of the Town of Colonie EMS Department from 1989 to 2010 when he retired. During his tenure as Chief, Colonie EMS won two national awards, two regional awards and the New York State EMS service of the year award. In retirement he served as the interim director of a community ambulance service and led them through a consolidation effort with a neighboring agency. He has also served as the Chief of his community volunteer fire department.

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David I. Page:


About David Page

Born in Mexico City, Mexico. Attended French Lycee in Mexico, and moved to Washington, DC, in August 1983, to pursue educational and career goals. Currently Director of Prehospital Care Research Forum at UCLA, Adjunct Senior Lecturer for Department of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Community Emergency Health and Paramedics at Monash University, and Paramedic at Allina Health EMS, Saint Paul, Minnesota. 

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Marty Link:

About Marty Link

Marty is a dedicated out of the box thinker and problem solver with a proven devotion to leadership, service, and community. Marty has invested over 21 years in his career in state government currently serving as the Administrator for the Office of EMS and Trauma within the SD Department of Health.

Marty has been blessed to have been surrounded by great leaders and influencers over his lifetime and believes strongly in speaking into the lives of others to bring encouragement, edification, and confidence. The power of a kind smile, firm handshake, and a genuine sincerity towards others are hallmarks in Marty’s life.

Marty believes building relationships, expanding knowledge, and listening and learning are paramount to successfully foster effective change; especially, in his service as the state EMS Director for South Dakota.

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Deanna L. Lassegard, MD, EMT-P:

Board Certified Emergency Medicine Physician, EMS Medical Director 

About Dr. Lassegard

Dr. Lassegar received her EMT training in 2003 and earned her paramedic certification in 2005 which she has kept current. She holds a bachelor's degree in Nursing from South Dakota State University and a Doctorate in Medicine from University of South Dakota. She did her residency training in Emergency Medicine at East Carolina University in Greenville NC where she was chief resident. Dr. Lassegard is passionate about EMS education and oversight and is actively involved in all of her medical directorship roles.

Dr. Lassegard has experience with medical direction for austere and wilderness medical teams, mine rescue EMS teams, rural and urban EMS teams, critical care and community paramedicine teams, and fire departments. She is experienced in all facets of medical direction: credentialing, quality assurance and improvement, protocol review and writing and continuing education. She also has experience with implementing a critical care ground ambulance transportation service, starting a community paramedic program, merging and purchasing of ambulance services and expanded scope protocol implementation.

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Eric Van Dusen:


About Eric Van Dusen

Eric is the Yankton County EMS Administrator that started with them in July. He has been in EMS for 22 years, 20 years as a paramedic. Previously Eric worked for Mountainview Health in Las Vegas in the paramedic program as well as Sanford Health based in Sioux Falls as Lead Simulation Specialist and EMS Educator and a former flight paramedic. His current roll not only supports EMS Education, but rural hospitals and providing education from nursing staff to all levels of providers in every aspect of patient care

Eric is a past president of the South Dakota EMS Association serving 9 years in that role and being a part of the association since 2005. He also served as the Region 3 Director for the NAEMT for a year until vacating his seat to relocate to Las Vegas. Eric has presented as local, regional, and state conferences and throughout the Midwest over the past decade. Eric has received the SDEMSA president’s award in 2010 and awarded lifetime member for commitment to EMS in 2019.

Eric has served on local and regional EMS taskforce committees, and currently serves as a NAEMT membership committee member. Eric resides in Sioux Falls with his wife Dawn of 13 years, has two daughters, step daughter and 6 grandchildren.

To view the full bio, click here.

To strengthen patient care in South Dakota through advocacy, education, and representation of the EMS provider. 

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